The ongoing battle for dominance between Korean electronics giants LG and Samsung had previously been one about screen size and picture quality, with each vying to create the biggest and the best 4K TVs.
Now, with both players firmly ensconced as premium TV makers, that battle – perhaps appropriately – has shifted to the cloud gaming front, with the latest volley coming from LG as it announced free 3-month access to the Google Stadia Pro game streaming service for new and existing LG TV owners.
LG’s promotion starts on August 10 and will run through the end of January 2023. To access the free service, viewers will need a TV running version 5.0 or higher of LG’s webOS smart TV platform, which mainly means OLED and QLED sets sold in 2020 or later.
Cloud gaming on LG TVs got a previous boost this year when the company announced a free six-month subscription to Nvidia GeForce Now – another gaming service accessible via the webOS smart interface – to buyers of its 2021 models. That limited-time promotion has since expired, but it showed the company’s interest in using cloud services to steer gamers toward its OLED and QLED TV lines, which feature gaming-oriented features such as 120 Hz display, Variable Refresh Rate, G-Sync, and FreeSync.
Samsung, meanwhile, has been busy making its own gaming push. The company’s new TVs for 2022 feature Samsung Gaming Hub, a portal within a set’s Tizen smart TV interface to access cloud services, with both Stadia Pro and GeForce Now as the first ones out of the gate.
Samsung added the XBox TV app to Gaming Hub in June, and just this week announced that the Amazon Luna game streaming service will soon be coming, making sets with the Hub an obvious destination for gamers looking to leave their consoles behind.
It's game on for LG and Samsung as TV biz competition heats up
Big-screen TVs are an obvious choice for both console-based and cloud gaming, so recent developments on that front from the major Korean competitors comes as no surprise. Viewers can expect to see more gaming-related features, services, and deals going forward as the two duke it out in the cloud gaming arena.
But another factor here is increased competition due to decreased demand. This is based on two factors: many home-bound individuals buying new TVs to make indoors time more entertaining during the “lock-down” phase of the pandemic; and the recent spike in the cost of living, a situation that has caused remaining would-be buyers of discretionary items like expensive TVs to clamp down on their wallets.
Add to this Samsung’s recent entry into OLED manufacturing, a situation that has led to unprecedented OLED TV price drops in 2022, plus a decrease in TV production as panel-makers re-calibrate output to align with current economic realities and future forecasts.
Buyers can expect to see even further price reductions later this year as the impact of supply and demand works its way through the economy. In the meantime, anyone looking to get a new TV should keep their eyes peeled for deals, or wait it out for even better ones to arrive on Black Friday. Those deals will be good for us all, but with the new developments from LG and Samsung, they’ll be even better for gamers.